- For other characters named Link featured in the series, see Link (Disambiguation).
Link is the name shared by the recurring character in The Legend of Zelda series. There are many incarnations of Link, each possessing the spirit of the hero, with some of them being blood-related as well. They are chosen by the Golden Goddesses to protect the land from evil whenever deemed necessary. They often need to complete a series of trials to mature into the chosen hero. In most games of The Legend of Zelda series, their adventures take place within Kingdom of Hyrule, traveling through the land, collecting important items, and defeating a wide variety of enemies while trying to save both Princess Zelda and her kingdom from the clutches of Ganon or other villains.
The first Link was introduced as a young Sword-wielding boy, but the identity, appearance, and role of each incarnation of Link has varied from game to game. Many of them are given titles to identify them, such as the Hero of Time in Ocarina of Time and the Hero of Winds in The Wind Waker.
The Legend of Zelda
In the original The Legend of Zelda, Hyrule is engulfed in chaos after an army led by Ganon invaded it and stole the Triforce of Power. In an attempt to prevent Ganon from acquiring the Triforce of Wisdom, Princess Zelda splits it and hides the eight fragments in secret dungeons throughout the land. Before the princess is kidnapped by Ganon, she commands her nursemaid Impa to find someone courageous enough to save the kingdom. While wandering the land, the old woman is surrounded by Ganon’s henchmen, though a young swordsman named Link appears and rescues her. After hearing Impa’s plea, he resolves to save Zelda and sets out to reassemble the scattered fragments of the Triforce of Wisdom, to become powerful enough to defeat Ganon. Link located the eight underground labyrinths, defeats several guardian monsters, and retrieves the Triforce fragments. With the completed Triforce of Wisdom, Link is able to infiltrate Ganon’s hideout and defeats him with the Silver Arrow. Link picks up the Triforce of Power from Ganon’s ashes and returns both pieces of the Triforce to Princess Zelda, restoring peace to Hyrule.
The Adventure of Link
In The Adventure of Link, set six years after The Legend of Zelda, the now-sixteen-year-old Link notices a strange mark on the back of his left hand, resembling the crest of Hyrule. He seeks out Impa, who responds by taking Link to the North Castle, where a door has been magically sealed for generations. Impa places the back of Link's left hand on the door, and it opens, revealing a sleeping maiden inside. Impa tells Link that the maiden is the original Princess Zelda of Hyrule from long ago, and the origin of the "Legend of Zelda". Long ago, Zelda's brother, the Prince of Hyrule, had tried to force her into telling their recently deceased father's secrets concerning the last of the three golden treasures of his kingdom, the Triforce of Courage. Princess Zelda refused to reveal its location, and the Magician, who had accompanied the prince, tried to strike her down with a spell in anger. Zelda fell under a powerful sleeping spell, but the wizard was unable to control the wildly arcing magic and was killed by it. The prince, filled with remorse and unable to reverse the spell, had his sister placed in the castle tower, in the hope that she would one day be awakened. He decreed that princesses born to the royal family from that point on would be named Zelda, in remembrance of this tragedy. Impa says that the mark on Link's hand means that he is the hero chosen to awaken Zelda. She gives Link a chest containing six crystals and ancient writings that only a great future king of Hyrule can read. Link finds that he can read the document, even though he has never seen the language before; it indicates that the crystals must be set into statues within six palaces scattered all over Hyrule. This will open the way to the Great Palace, which contains the Triforce of Courage. Only the power of the combined Triforces can awaken the enchanted Zelda. Taking the crystals, Link sets out to restore them to their palaces. Meanwhile, although Link had defeated Ganon, the remnants of his army remain scattered across Hyrule. They plan to revive Ganon by killing Link and spilling his blood onto Ganon's ashes.
Ultimately, Link restores the crystals to the six palaces, defeating a strong guardian within each one to do so, and enters the Great Palace. After venturing deep inside, Link battles a flying creature known as the Thunderbird, followed by his own shadow guarding the Triforce. After defeating them both, Link then claims the Triforce of Courage and returns to Zelda. The three triangles unite into the collective Triforce, and Link's wish awakens Zelda.
A Link to the Past
In A Link to the Past, Link lives with his uncle in a house near Hyrule Castle. During this time, the land of Hyrule was plagued by a sudden disaster, until the wizard Agahnim appeared at the court of the King of Hyrule and quelled the upheaval. Named chief adviser to the throne, he soon seized power from the king and kidnapped the six Maidens, descendants of the seven Sages of long ago. The Maidens were taken to the castle tower and never seen again. One night, Link is awakened by a telepathic message from Princess Zelda, who says that she is locked in the castle dungeon. As the message closes, Link finds his uncle ready for battle, telling Link to remain in bed. After his uncle leaves, however, Link ignores his uncle's command and follows him to the dungeons under the castle. When he arrives, he finds his uncle mortally wounded. Link's uncle tells Link to rescue Princess Zelda from her prison, giving him his sword and shield. Link navigates the castle and rescues Zelda from her cell, and the two escape into a secret passage through the sewers that leads to the Sanctuary, where they meet the Loyal Sage. Link is informed that Agahnim intends to open the seal to the Dark World, a realm once sealed off long ago by the seven Sages when Ganon and his army of evil were banished into the Sacred Realm, which became the Dark World. The kidnapped Maidens were sent into the Dark World to open this seal, and Agahnim intended to do the same to Zelda. Link is told by the man that the only thing that can defeat Agahnim is the Master Sword, and the Sage tells him to seek the elder Sahasrahla to learn more.
Link finds the elder near the Eastern Palace
Link (The Legend of Zelda)
Video game character
"Link (character)" redirects here. For other uses, see Link.
Various incarnations of Link, as seen in The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia
|First appearance||The Legend of Zelda ()|
|Last appearance||The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD ()|
|Created by||Shigeru Miyamoto|
|Affiliation||Kingdom of Hyrule|
Link[c] is a fictional character and the protagonist of Nintendo's video game series The Legend of Zelda. He is the mascot of the franchise and one of Nintendo's main icons. He was created by Japanese video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Link was introduced as the hero of the original The Legend of Zelda video game and has appeared in a total of 19 entries in the series, as well as a number of spin-offs. He also features in other Nintendo media, including merchandise, comic books and an animated television series.
Throughout The Legend of Zelda series, Link has made multiple appearances in a variety of incarnations. He has been rendered in both 2D and 3D form and has been traditionally depicted in his signature green cap and tunic, carrying a sword and shield. Over the course of the series, he appears as a child, teenager, or young adult of the Hylian race originating from the fictional kingdom of Hyrule. Within Zelda lore, Link is the soul of a legendary hero that, throughout history, is reincarnated within a seemingly ordinary boy or man when the need arises for a new warrior to defeat the forces of evil.
Each game in the series centres around Link travelling through Hyrule, whilst exploring dungeons, battling creatures and solving puzzles until he eventually defeats the series' primary antagonist, Ganon and saves Princess Zelda. To defeat Ganon, Link usually obtains the mystical Master Sword, or a similar legendary weapon, which is obtained after completing various trials. In the course of his journey, he also acquires other magical items, including musical instruments and other weaponry.
Link has also featured in various spin-off games, including Hyrule Warriors,Cadence of Hyrule and Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. He has appeared in several other game franchises, including SoulCalibur II, Mario Kart 8 and the Super Smash Bros. series.
Alongside Mario, Link is one of the most recognisable characters in the video game industry, with critics considering him to be a significant game character in popular culture. He has been positively received by critics and fans and is a popular character within the video game community. Link has been recognised by the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition as the second best video game character of all time after Mario. Critics have also named him as one of the most influential video game characters of all time and one of Shigeru Miyamoto's most famous creations.
Concept and creation
Link's creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, has said that his concepts of The Legend of Zelda and Link were based on his childhood memories as well as books and movies he and video game designer Takashi Tezuka had enjoyed, notably J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Miyamoto tried to make people identify with Link and have the opportunity to be heroes like the character. Although at the end of some games, Link becomes vastly talented in physical skill and magical prowess, he usually starts off the game as a regular boy.
Link's sprite design was created by designer Takashi Tezuka. Shigeru Miyamoto stated in an interview with Game Kult that Takashi Tezuka used the Disney character Peter Pan as a source of inspiration when creating Link in order to make the character recognisable. Due to the limited capabilities of the technology at the time, Nintendo was only able to use three colours and the development team decided to choose green as Link's signature colour, as the game was mainly set within a forest environment. Link's sword and shield, long hat and ears were all created to make the character easily distinguishable.
On the origin of the name "Link", Miyamoto has said, "Link's name comes from the fact that originally, the fragments of the Triforce were supposed to be electronic chips. The game was to be set in both the past and the future and as the main character would travel between both and be the link between them, they called him Link." However, he has also stated in the Nintendo book titled Hyrule Historia that the character is named Link because he, "connects people together" and that, "he was supposed to spread the scattered energy of the world through the ages."
There have been several iterations of Link within The Legend of Zelda series. Each incarnation of Link bears a similar appearance and role as the hero within the various Zelda games, with nearly every game resetting the storyline. According to The Legend of Zelda Encyclopedia, Link is "not just one individual; he is the hero reborn to many homes, over the course of many lifetimes, chosen by the goddesses with a single purpose: to stand up and fight when evil descends upon Hyrule." Miyamoto has stated, "For every Zelda game we tell a new story, but we actually have an enormous document that explains how the game relates to the others, and bind them together. But to be honest, they are not that important to us. We care more about developing the game system give the player new challenges for every chapter that is born." Although each version of Link is different to the next, an official chronology for the Zelda series was established by Nintendo, which spans thousands of years across the fictional history of Hyrule and includes three separate timelines. In celebration of The Legend of Zelda's 25th anniversary, Nintendo released (in December , in Japan; in early , in North America) an anthology, titled Hyrule Historia, which details the official Zelda fictional timeline.Hyrule Historia explains Link's repeated incarnations in the fictional timeline by stating that the name "Link" is a common name in Hyrule. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, which was released in , aimed to create an origin story, in which the antagonist Demise curses "the spirit of the hero" to be caught in an endless cycle of defeating evil.
Link's appearance has remained consistent over the course of The Legend of Zelda series but his character design has also evolved with each game release. In the original The Legend of Zelda, he appears dressed in green in a simple 2D form viewed from a top-down perspective. This was followed by a taller version of the character seen from a side-scroll perspective in the video game titled The Adventure of Link. With the release of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in , Link appeared as a 3D character. Link's teenage appearance in Ocarina of Time was designed with the aim of making him more handsome and cooler than all previous forms of the hero. Nintendo illustrator, Yusuke Nakano has stated that the design of Link in Ocarina of Time was based on a well-known American actor at the time of the game's development. For the cartoon design of Link in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Miyamoto explained, "Link was a young boy and trying to create a very active and very energetic young boy and trying to choose the right style for portraying the young boy in a game like that we tried many different experiments. The ultimate decision we came to was that the cel-shading in The Wind Waker was the best option for expressing that". For the decision to make Link a teenager in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Miyamoto explained, "Ultimately we decided that in showing a teenage Link really the best style of expressing him would be something that's closer to our graphical style in Ocarina of Time."
Link's signature green outfit has also evolved over the course of The Legend of Zelda series. At a Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Art Director Satoru Takizawa commented on the subtle changes made to Link's outfit for each game release. He stated that for Twilight Princess he, "made the hat long, so it would flap in the wind and move around", however, for the release of Skyward Sword, he decided to make it more diminutive and give it less motion. The release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in broke the conventions of Link's design, notably the absence of his signature green outfit as a prominent feature. Takizawa explained that, "As the graphic fidelity has increased it becomes more difficult to make that hat look cool." However, players can still acquire Link's green hat and tunic within the game. For Breath of the Wild nearly designs were considered for Link to ensure that he remained a neutral character. Eiji Aonuma commented, "We thought that the iconic green tunic and hat had become expected, so we wanted to mix things up and update his look. Interestingly, though, nobody on the team said, 'Let's make him blue!' It just organically ended up that way."
Although Link is depicted as a male character, Producer Eiji Aonuma has stated that he wanted the character to be gender neutral. He said of Link's portrayal in Ocarina of Time, "I wanted the player to think 'Maybe Link is a boy or a girl.' If you saw Link as a guy, he'd have more of a feminine touch. Or vice versa, if you related to Link as a girl, it was with more of a masculine aspect. I really wanted the designer to encompass more of a gender-neutral figure. So I've always thought that for either female or male players, I wanted them to be able to relate to Link." During the development of Twilight Princess, he created a more masculine version of Link, but then later decided to return Link to a more gender neutral character. Regarding Link's character design in Breath of the Wild, Aonuma stated, "as far as gender goes, Link is definitely a male, but I wanted to create a character where anybody would be able to relate to the character."
Since the first instance of voice acting in the series (in Ocarina of Time), Link has been voiced by eight actors: Nobuyuki Hiyama in Ocarina of Time (as adult Link); Fujiko Takimoto in Ocarina of Time (as young Link), Majora's Mask, A Link to the Past and Four Swords for the Game Boy Advance and Minish Cap; Sachi Matsumoto in The Wind Waker; Akira Sasanuma in Twilight Princess; Yūki Kodaira in Spirit Tracks; Takashi Ōhara in Skyward Sword; Mitsuki Saiga in A Link Between Worlds and Link's Awakening (the version only); and Kengo Takanashi in Breath of the Wild. In Tri Force Heroes, Fujiko Takimoto, Sachi Matsumoto, Yūki Kodaira and Mitsuki Saiga all reprise their roles as Link, acting as alternate voices.
As no canonical game in The Legend of Zelda series to date has contained substantial spoken dialogue for Link, the part consists only of short phrases, grunts, battle cries, and other sounds. In The Wind Waker, however, Link has been heard saying the phrase, "Come on!" Voice acting for the character has been deliberately limited, so as not to contradict players' individual interpretations of how Link could sound. Producer Eiji Aonuma has stated that Link's silence is meant to avoid breaking the relationship between the player and the character, which could result from adding dialogue with which the player did not agree. Link's character has been purposefully left open to interpretation to offer a blank slate for players to enter the game world and provide a more personal experience.
Link is a brave, skilled warrior and the hero of The Legend of Zelda series. Over the course of the series, he has appeared in a variety of ages and forms, ranging from child to adult, and in Twilight Princess, also appears in the form of a wolf. He displays the characteristic traits of the Hylian race, being of human form with elfin features, including pointed ears. Since the original The Legend of Zelda video game, he has been repeatedly depicted wearing his characteristic green phrygian cap and tunic. However, he has also appeared wearing other outfits, including a blue lobster shirt in The Wind Waker and his blue Champion's Tunic in Breath of the Wild. Link is described in the original game's instruction manual as a "young lad" and a traveller and in later games, such as Breath of the Wild, as a knight of Hyrule who is sworn to protect the kingdom and Princess Zelda. During gameplay, he carries a sword and a shield, but has also wielded a variety of other weapons, including bows, spears and axes.
Link's signature weapon is the Master Sword, a powerful magic sword that has the ability to repel evil. He is also often depicted holding the Hylian Shield. These two components have become integral aspects of the character's identity. Each game in the series follows a similar story arc, in which Link must take a journey that eventually leads him to recover the Master Sword, which makes him stronger in gameplay and enables him to defeat the series' main antagonist, Ganon.
Throughout each game, Link is able to obtain various items during his adventures, which the player can then use in gameplay. Many of these objects possess magical properties that bestow specific abilities on Link, such as a magic cape that makes Link invisible when he wears it, or potions that replenish his health. Others have various practical purposes, such as the hookshot, which enables Link to pull items towards him, and bombs for detonation. In addition, Link has used various musical instruments on his travels, most notably, the Ocarina of Time, which when played is used for teleportation. In Breath of the Wild, Link's key tool is the Sheikah Slate, a handheld tablet featuring various runes that enable him to manipulate the game world.
In Zelda lore, Link is the reincarnated soul of a hero, chosen by the goddess Hylia to protect the kingdom of Hyrule from Ganon and save Princess Zelda whenever the need arises. As the goddess' chosen hero, he is also the bearer of the Triforce of Courage, one of the three components that together combine to form the Triforce, a sacred artefact and symbol of power. In several Zelda games, Link's main objective is to recover the fragments of the Triforce in order to defeat Ganon. Link's character is always depicted as a fearless hero and a "symbol of courage" who is willing to protect Hyrule for the sake of others.
Link's relationships with the other main characters has been a defining aspect of the series. Within the fictional lore, Ganon, Zelda and Link represent three pieces of the Triforce, with Ganon representing Power, Zelda representing Wisdom and Link representing Courage. This trinity transcends the fictional timeline and dictates that the three characters are destined to be forever reincarnated in an endless battle for good and evil. Link's battle with Ganon established a fictional chronology that spans across the entire series and branches into three separate timelines. The three timelines originate at the end of Ocarina of Time when the timeline splits according to whether Link successfully defeats Ganon ("The Hero is Victorious") or fails to stop him (the "Fallen Hero" timeline). The official fictional chronology was revealed in Hyrule Historia, with Skyward Sword presented as the first game in the timeline. Skyward Sword establishes that the three main characters are destined to be connected in an endless cycle after the antagonist Demise curses Link and Zelda.
Link's relationship with Zelda has been a core aspect of the series but has also been the subject of speculation. Throughout the games, the storylines have suggested the possibility of a romantic relationship between the two, but this has remained ambiguous. With each game release, the nature of their relationship has varied and Link has also been presented with other possible love interests. A romantic relationship between Link and Zelda is particularly evident in Skyward Sword and was also emphasised in an official "romance trailer" for the game. Eiji Aonuma commented on this relationship in an interview with Game Informer, saying, "As far as the love story goes, it wasn’t that we wanted to create a romance between Link and Zelda as much as we wanted the player to feel like this is a person who's very important to me, who I need to find. We used that hint of a romance between the two to tug at the heartstrings". In Breath of the Wild, the relationship between Link and Zelda is more complex and follows a story arc that begins with resentment and ends in a close bond with each willing to give their life for the other.
Appearances and evolution
The Legend of Zelda series
Link has appeared as the protagonist of The Legend of Zelda series for over three decades. In addition to appearing in every video game in The Legend of Zelda series, he has also appeared as a major character in various spin-off games. Although the plot in each Zelda game varies, it centres around Link defeating Ganon with the Master Sword and rescuing Princess Zelda. During gameplay, Link must navigate through various dungeons, defeat monsters and solve puzzles before reaching the end of the game.
Link was introduced as a 2D character in the original game release The Legend of Zelda. In the opening introduction, he meets an old man who offers him a sword and declares, "It's dangerous to go alone!" Link is described as a "young lad" who saves Princess Zelda's elderly nursemaid Impa from Ganon's henchmen. Link assumes the role of the hero and must rescue Princess Zelda and the kingdom of Hyrule from the evil wizard Ganon, who has stolen the Triforce of Power. During the game, the player controls Link as he explores areas of Hyrule and nine dungeons to obtain special items that give him the ability to defeat each dungeon boss before defeating Ganon.
In Zelda II: The Adventure of Link () Link reappeared with some minor changes to his design, but still as a basic 2D character. The game differed from the previous title, as it switched between a top-down perspective and a side-scroll perspective. The storyline involves Link going on a quest to place a crystal in each of six castles in Hyrule, so that he can later break the magically protected Great Palace, defeat Shadow Link, claim the Triforce of Courage, reunite the three pieces of the Triforce, and awaken the sleeping Zelda.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past () created Link in a bit colour palette for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It presented the character with the unusual characteristic of having pink hair, which diverged from the traditional golden or light brown hair seen in other releases. In the plot, Link must intercept the wizard Agahnim before he breaks the seal on the Dark World and unleash Ganon's fury upon Hyrule. Along the way, Link must collect three magical Pendants of Virtue and claim the legendary Master Sword before facing Agahnim. Then, he must venture into the Dark World to rescue the Seven Sages and defeat Agahnim and Ganon.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening was released in for the Game Boy, making it the first handheld title in the series. Link appeared in black and white until the DX port brought the game to the Game Boy Color. The storyline takes place on a mysterious island called Koholint. Link is taken to the house of a kind man named Tarin and his daughter Marin. A talking owl tells him that the only way he can escape Koholint Island is by awakening the "Wind Fish", a giant creature slumbering in a colossal egg in the center of the island. When the game finishes, Link awakens in the middle of the ocean, along with the dreamer.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time () is the first 3D game in the Zelda series, and is the final game that occurs within the "Singular Timeline". Link must constantly travel between the present and the future by using the titular Ocarina of Time in order to stop Ganondorf's takeover of Hyrule. As a result, Link comes to be known as the "Hero of Time", and is successful in stopping Ganondorf both in the present (via warning Zelda about his plot) and in the future (via direct combat and subsequently sealing him in the Sacred Realm with the help of the six sages and the Master Sword). Link is also accompanied by the fairy Navi, who gives him hints about enemies and/or his surroundings, which is a first in the series. The ending of Ocarina of Time also notably marks the timeline split of the in-game universe's chronology: the "Adult Link Timeline" occurs after Link has defeated Ganondorf in the future, the "Child Link Timeline" occurs after he is transported back to the past and warns Zelda of his plot to conquer Hyrule, and the "Fallen Hero Timeline" occurs after he is defeated by Ganondorf in the future.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask () is a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time, and occurs several months after Link defeats Ganon and is sent back in time to his childhood. As a result, it is the first game set in the "Child Link Timeline", an alternate timeline to the "Adult Link Timeline" and the "Fallen Hero Timeline". While searching for Navi after she left him for unknown reasons at the end of Ocarina of Time, Link runs into Skull Kid, a character briefly featured in Ocarina of Time, and mysteriously ends up traveling to the land of Termina. He must save this land from the evil of Majora's Mask, which has drawn the moon into a decaying orbit, threatening to crash into Termina's primary town, Clock Town, in three days. Link uses the Ocarina of Time to play the Song of Time, which he can use to travel back in time when he plays it, to relive these three days repeatedly so he can prevent the disaster. Along the way, Link finds many magical masks of his own, some of which allow him to transform. Those masks can turn him into a Goron, Deku Scrub, Zora or the "Fierce Deity", a powerful, adult-like form. Miyamoto mentioned that "we wanted Link to get inside of a wonderland, to experience the adventures and think hard about what he should do."
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages () occur after A Link to the Past and Link's Awakening. They feature the Triforce sending Link on a mission to the foreign lands of Holodrum and Labrynna in order to stop the disruption of the seasons by the General of Darkness, Onox, and the disruption of time by the Sorceress of Shadows, Veran. After playing both games, it is revealed that the events of both games are part of a sinister plot by Twinrova to light the Flames of Destruction (lit by the actions of Onox), Sorrow (lit by the actions of Veran), and Despair (lit when Zelda is kidnapped) as part of a ritual to resurrect Ganon. In the end, Link must save Zelda and defeat the Twinrova before Ganon is resurrected.
In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past & Four Swords (), Four Swords occurs at some point after The Minish Cap and before Ocarina of Time. Zelda goes to the Sanctuary of the Four Sword with her friend, Link, to check on the seal containing the evil Wind Mage, Vaati. The seal has weakened, however, and Vaati emerges, kidnaps Zelda, and defeats Link. Later, Link finds three fairies, who instruct him to draw the Four Sword. The magical Four Sword divides him into four identical Links. The first Link wears his traditional green outfit; the second, a red version; the third, blue; and the fourth, purple. The Links must cooperate to overcome obstacles, collect keys, and storm Vaati's Palace so they can rescue Zelda and reseal the Wind Mage.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker () occurs hundreds of years after Ocarina of Time, and is the first game set in the "Adult Link Timeline", an alternate timeline to the "Child Link Timeline" and the "Fallen Hero Timeline". In it, the gods have flooded Hyrule to keep the Triforce and populace safe from Ganondorf after he broke the seal placed upon him in Ocarina of Time. All land is underwater except for the highest mountaintops of Hyrule, which resulted in the creation of the Great Sea. At the beginning of the game, Link's younger sister Aryll is captured by the Helmaroc King, a giant masked bird controlled by Ganondorf, the latter of whom is searching for Princess Zelda. Link travels the Great Sea to rescue his sister and defeat the Helmaroc King; his quest intertwining with that of The King of Red Lions, who, after many trials, entitles this Link, who has no connection to any previous incarnation of the hero (due to the Hero of Time having left the timeline for the "Child Link Timeline" at the end of Ocarina of Time), as the "Hero of Winds". Using the Wind Waker, a magical conductor's baton, he borrows the power of the gods to aid him in his quest. The wand's user interface is similar to that of the Ocarina of Time, but uses tempo and pitch to form tunes. Link must reassemble the Triforce of Courage and restore the Master Sword's power to repel evil in order to kill Ganondorf..
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures () is an indirect sequel to Twilight Princess, and occurs hundreds of years after that game. Zelda and the six other mystical maidens, who are worried about the seal on the Four Sword, go to check on the Sanctuary of the Four Sword, with Link accompanying them. However, a dark, shadowy copy of Link attacks them. Link is forced to draw the Four Sword to fight this Shadow Link, but when he does, he is split into copies of himself much like the Link in Four Swords. By extension, drawing the Four Sword also results in Vaati escaping from the seal placed upon him in Four Swords.
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap () occurs between Skyward Sword and Four Swords, and features Link as a young boy living with his grandfather, the Master Smith of Hyrule. Link is a childhood friend of Princess Zelda, and on the day of Hyrule's yearly fair to celebrate the coming of the Picori, they go to join in the festivities. A mysterious stranger, Vaati, shows up and wins the sword-fighting competition; each year the distinguished victor of this tournament has the honor of touching the sacred Picori Blade. This sword was a gift to the Hylians from the tiny Picori and was used long ago by a legendary hero to defeat the forces of darkness and seal them away in the Bound Chest. Vaati destroys the blade and curses Zelda, and it is up to Link to repair the sword, defeat Vaati and save the princess.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess () occurs more than a century after the events of Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. In the game, Link is a teenage farm boy leading a fairly normal life in the pastoral village of Ordon until two of his friends, Colin and Ilia, are kidnapped by monsters. During his journey to rescue them, Link discovers that the entire kingdom of Hyrule has been covered by a dark twilight, in which most people are reduced to nothing more than spirits. However, Link is transformed into a wolf upon entering the twilight. While in this form, he is aided by Midna, an imp-like creature, and eventually cleanses the land from the twilight. Yet, in his attempt to save his friends, Link discovers an even greater evil only he can stop. During the game, Link travels in the normal world in his human form and when exposed to twilight, reverts to his wolf form. During his journey, he is trained in the art of swordsmanship by a spirit called the "Hero's Shade", who is revealed in the Hyrule Historia to be the Hero of Time from Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. Due to lamenting that he was never remembered as a Hero, as well as not passing down his skills to the next generation, the Hero's Shade has been unable to pass on to the afterlife following his death. After teaching his descendant the swordsmanship skills he learned during his own life, the Hero's Shade finally eases his regrets and passes on into the afterlife while giving his descendant his blessing. Link's Crossbow Training, a spin-off of the series, also takes place within the setting of Twilight Princess.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass () is a direct sequel to The Wind Waker, and is set a few months after Link defeats Ganondorf in that game. Link embarks on a quest to reunite with Tetra after she is lost to the Ghost Ship and turned into stone by the game's main antagonist, Bellum. Phantom Hourglass revives the use of a fairy companion as in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, yet also features Link teaming up with Captain Linebeck in order to travel the World of the Ocean King, a world parallel to the Great Sea. Upon finding the spirits of courage, wisdom, and power, Link is eventually lead to the Ghost Ship and rescues Tetra before confronting Bellum at the Temple of the Ocean King.
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks () is a sequel to Phantom Hourglass, and is set a century after that game. An unknown amount of time after Phantom Hourglass, Link, Tetra, and her pirates find new land and rechristen it New Hyrule. In this game, Link, the descendant and first reincarnation of the Hero of Winds, is able to travel across the main world using a train and is accompanied by the spirit of Princess Zelda, who is the descendant and reincarnation of Tetra. Link and Zelda have to restore the Spirit Tracks to New Hyrule and recover Princess Zelda's body from Chancellor Cole after he uses it to revive Malladus, a Demon King who once ravaged the land that would become New Hyrule.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword () established a fictional timeline for the series and was designed to be an origin story for the Master Sword. It also involves a romantic relationship between Link and Zelda. The storyline explores the beginning of the battle between good and evil within the series, and the establishment of Hyrule and the legends of both Link and Zelda. Link is born and raised in Skyloft, a land floating above the clouds. Link is a childhood friend of Zelda, who in this game is not a princess, but rather a fellow student at the Knight Academy. The land beneath the clouds is known simply as the Surface, and Link is forced to go there after Zelda is kidnapped. He must travel between the two lands in this adventure. He wields a sword called the Goddess Sword, a magical sword that holds a spirit named Fi a servant to the goddess Hylia which allows him to travel across the two worlds. During his journey, Link imbues the Goddess Sword with three sacred flames, which results in it being reforged into the Master Sword.
In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD ().
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds () is a sequel to A Link to the Past, and occurs centuries after that game and Link's Awakening. Link is a blacksmith's apprentice who is forced to rescue the Seven Sages, descendants of the original Sages who sealed the Sacred Realm years ago, after Yuga, a sorcerer who has the ability to "merge" into walls and turn people into paintings, brings them to another world, the Kingdom of Lorule, in the form of paintings to revive Ganon. The ability to "merge" into walls is a newly added mechanic for Link. Link's appearance is very similar to that depicted in artwork from 's The Legend of Zelda. During the journey, Link meets Ravio, a rabbit-masked merchant whom Link agrees to stay in his house in exchange for his services. In the game's climax, Ravio is revealed to be Link's Lorule counterpart, and he went to Hyrule to recruit Link to stop Yuga and Princess Hilda from stealing Hyrule's Triforce, as he believed ruining Hyrule to revive Lorule was worse than letting his kingdom crumble.
In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D ().
The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes () is a direct sequel to A Link Between Worlds, and is set several years after that game. Despite featuring the art style used in The Wind Waker, it nevertheless features the same Link, who answers a call for heroes from King Tuft of the fashion-focused kingdom of Hytopia. His daughter, Princess Styla, has been cursed by the witch Lady Maud to wear an ugly jumpsuit that is impossible to remove. Link allies with two other heroes who appear identical to him, albeit featuring red and blue color schemes, in order to defeat Lady Maud and lift the curse.
In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD ().
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild () involved significant changes to Link's design compared to previous instalments, particularly the absence of his signature green outfit. The game allows players to dress Link in a variety of outfits, including his blue Champion's Tunic. It also places more emphasis on Link's bow as a prominent weapon. The storyline centres around Link awakening after a century in a life regenerating stasis pod called, "The Shrine of Resurrection", and discovering that an evil force called Calamity Ganon has been trapped in Hyrule Castle for as long as he has been in stasis. Hyrule has since fallen into ruin in the wake of Calamity Ganon, and has been largely reclaimed by the wilderness. Link learns that Calamity Ganon has been growing in strength and that he must gain control of the four Divine Beasts so that he can finally defeat Ganon.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is a remake of the Game Boy release updated for the Nintendo Switch. The player controls Link from the same top down perspective as the earlier game but the character appears in 3D form. To faithfully recreate the original game for a new era, Eiji Aonuma completely overhauled the visuals by creating Link and the other characters in a dolls house style with exaggerated proportions to create comical characters. The game was designed like a "miniature diorama" with a tilt-shift aspect applied for further emphasis.
With the release of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD (), which was a remastered version of the original Skyward Sword game for the Nintendo Switch, Link reappeared in his earlier incarnation. Many concepts introduced in the original game, such as Link's stamina meter and item durability, were later developed for Breath of the Wild.
Link is due to appear in the upcoming Untitled The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel in Nintendo released a teaser trailer as part of its E3 Nintendo Direct, showing a slightly altered version of Link from Breath of the Wild. The upcoming game is a sequel to the previous game and is set within the same game world.
Link appears in Link: The Faces of Evil, Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon and Zelda's Adventure, the first Zelda spin-off games ever released, although he is playable only in The Faces of Evil and relegated to a secondary role in The Wand of Gamelon and Zelda's Adventure. At the beginning of The Faces of Evil, Link and the King of Hyrule are visited by a wizard named Gwonam, who tells them that Ganon and his servants have seized the peaceful island of Koridai and captured Zelda. After being informed that only he can defeat Ganon, Link travels to Koridai to find the magical artifact known as the Book of Koridai. In the latter two games, the roles are reversed and Zelda has to rescue Link from Ganon. While the comics were licensed by Nintendo to use official Zelda characters, none of them were produced or supervised by Nintendo. As well as being critically panned, none of these games (which were produced for the Philips CD-i multimedia player) are recognized by Nintendo as part of the series' official chronology. Unlike the main games, Link actually speaks in this version and is voiced by Jeffrey Rath. His personality mirrors his animated series counterpart in which he yearns for adventure and is constantly trying to get a kiss from Zelda.
Link appears in the hack and slash video game Hyrule Warriors as a playable character. This incarnation is a Hyrulian soldier-in-training who helps leads the campaign against the forces of evil. Young Link from Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask also appears in the game as a playable character via downloadable content, while Toon Link from The Wind Waker appears as a playable character in Hyrule Warriors Legends, the Nintendo 3DS port of Warriors. Link also appears as a playable character in the Nintendo Switchrhythm gameCadence of Hyrule, a crossover between Crypt of the NecroDancer and The Legend of Zelda series.
In , Link reappeared as a playable character in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, which acts as a prequel to Breath of the Wild and exists within the same game world. Link's appearance is similar to this previous incarnation and includes the same game mechanics featured in Breath of the Wild, such as the use of the Sheikah Slate and the ability to use a sword and a shield for parrying. He is accompanied by a roster of characters to fight alongside on the battlefield. The storyline centres around Zelda struggling to unlock her powers and the Champions battling against the newly resurrected Ganon. The game progresses in the form of various missions that must be completed to level up Link and his allies.
Other games series
Link has appeared as a playable character in the Super Smash Bros. series. In , Toon Link from The Wind Waker appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Wii. He was also introduced in in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Link later returned in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch in various incarnations, including Young Link, Toon Link, green tunic Link and the version wearing his blue tunic from Breath of the Wild. The Skyward Sword incarnation of Link was introduced as a playable character in Mario Kart 8, along with the "Hyrule Circuit" race track, the "Triforce Cup" and a vehicle set consisting of the "Master Cycle", "Triforce Tires" and "Hylian Kite". In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the Breath of the Wild incarnation also appears, along with the Master Cycle Zero, Ancient Tires, and Paraglider from the same game. Link appears in Sonic Lost World as part of "The Legend of Zelda Zone", where he rides his signature Crimson Loftwing. He was also referenced in downloadable content for Monster Hunter 4, with armor resembling his tunic being forgeable and wearable by both male and female hunters. In the GameCube version of Namco's Soulcalibur II, Link is a featured character, and wields his signature weapons from the Zelda series. Miyamoto did not see a problem with Link appearing in what some had thought to be a "violent fighting game", as he had already been established as a fighter in the Super Smash Bros. series. Link was planned to appear together with Metroid series protagonist Samus Aran in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, but was later removed. Incarnations of Link from The Legend of Zelda, The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess and Tri Force Heroes also appear as "Mystery Mushroom" costumes in Super Mario Maker. Among SNES games, Link, alongside Samus Aran, makes a cameo in Super Mario RPG, where they are seen sleeping in separate beds at an inn. A reference to Link appears in the Japanese release of the NES game Final Fantasy, where a grave in Elfheim is marked "Here lies Link". In Scribblenauts Unlimited, many Zelda series characters are summonable in the Wii U version, including Link. Some of Link's weapons and outfits have appeared in several games. The Master Sword and Hylian Shield appear alongside Link's Champion's Tunic from Breath of the Wild as Amiibo-unlocked content in the Nintendo Switch version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
InThe Legend of Zeldaanimated series, Link, voiced by Jonathan Potts, features in a set of cartoons which aired from to as a part of DIC's The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!. Based loosely on the first game, the cartoons present Link as a rude, lovesick teenager. The plot revolves around Link living in Hyrule Castle and being recruited to protect the Triforce of Wisdom from Ganon, while accompanied by a fairy princess named Spryte. Over the course of the series he persistently attempts to kiss Zelda and exclaims the catchphrase "Well excuuuuuse me, Princess!" when tired with her attitude. Thirteen episodes were produced before the cancellation of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show. A slightly altered version of this Link and Zelda appeared during the second season of Captain N: The Game Master.
A serial comic was created for Nintendo Power magazine by Japanese manga artist Shotaro Ishinomori. It was published in and later collected in graphic novel form in The plot is an alternate version of the storyline from A Link to the Past. Several other manga adaptations have been published by Viz Media based on the Zelda video games, including Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, A Link to the Past and The Minish Cap, which were illustrated by Akira Himekawa.
Link is not only brave; he is the embodiment of the virtue of courage and heroism, single-handedly embarking on epic quests, helping those in need no matter how small the task, and showing his kind-hearted soul to everyone he meets. Link does all these things and receives little more of a reward than the occasional thank you.
–The staff of GamesRadar in
Link has been well received by video game critics. In a section titled "top ten forces of good" in their list of top 50 retro game heroes, Retro Gamer noted that Link is "one of the longest running gaming legends."Game Informer chose Link as the number one "Hero of ".CNET declared him the second top comic book character of all time in UGO.com ranked Link in first place on a list of comic book characters who need their own movies, adding, "Get Peter Jackson or Guillermo del Toro to do it, dump a ton of money into it, and we'll all die happy." In , Complex ranked him as the sixth "most badass" comic book character of all time, as well as the fourth best video game mascot of all time. In , Esquire listed Link in "The 50 Best Video Game Characters of All Time". In , Riley McAtee for The Ringer opined, "A mute but courageous hero was the perfect character for a fantasy adventure game in the s. Some 35 years later, video game storytelling has evolved, as has the Legend of Zelda franchise. But Link hasn't. He hasn't needed to. He's been the perfect video game character all along." Chris Morgan for Yardbarker described Link as one of "the most memorable characters from old school Nintendo games".HobbyConsolas also included Link in "The 30 best heroes of the last 30 years."
The character is also popular among the video game fan community. In the and Nintendo Power Awards, readers voted him as the best character. He was also voted by readers as the first and third "Best Hero" in the and Nintendo Power Awards respectively. In one of IGN's Hero Showdowns and in Screw Attack's Death Battle, Link was voted the favorite over Cloud Strife. In , Nintendo Power chose Link as their second favorite hero, commenting that his courage always wins out over evil.
Link has also proven to be a popular guest character in other video games series. In , IGN ranked him as the best bonus character in the Soul Calibur series, while GameDaily ranked him first on a list of top ten Smash Bros. characters.Polygon's Jeremy Parish ranked 73 fighters from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from "garbage to glorious," praising Toon Link and placing him in seventh place unlike his other character incarnations, and stating that Toon Link is another version of Link "but this one is also the single most expressive fighter on the Smash roster." Gavin Jasper of Den of Geek also praised and ranked Link as sixth on his list of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters, and stated that "I really like that he’s functionally the exact same as his Smashpredecessors despite being a different Link. It’s really what I see as the soul of Link himself. He’s not just a generic hero, but a force of pure mythology."
Critics and gamers have also commented on Link's sexual attractiveness. In June , Link was chosen as the "Hottest Video Game Character" by Out magazine for his appearance in Twilight Princess, describing him as "Nintendo's sexy farm-boy-turned-wolf". Brian Feldman for New York magazine remarked, "For three decades, gamers have been horny for Link, and finally, Nintendo has acknowledged that Link is a hot, sexy boy who will fight for your honor" and highlighted that this aspect of Link is particularly emphasised by the reactions of several side characters in Breath of the Wild. The relationship between Link and Princess Zelda was also ranked as the number one video game romance by James Hawkins of Joystick Division, who commented, "Never overtly called-out and not yet actualized, this tacit romance has shaped one of gaming's greatest franchises."
Link's character has been the subject of critical commentary with regards to his role as the protagonist of the series. Kyle Wizner for Screen Rant commented on Link's character as a silent protagonist, stating that Breath of the Wild's attempt at a more compelling story was, "successful in some regards", but "the most significant problem with Link as a main character is also the most obvious: He doesn't speak. The silent protagonist is a gaming trope as old as any, but as it becomes less common in the modern era of video games, its issues become more obvious." However, in a interview Eiji Aonuma gave an opinion about giving Link a voice, saying, "while in some ways I do feel that it could be good to have a game where he speaks, part of me also feels that that air of proud independence he has because he doesn't speak is a precious part of the individuality of his character."
Writing for Den of Geek, Ryan Lambie described Link's character as "the videogame equivalent of Tintin" because he is "the archetypal young hero, embodying all the optimism, generosity and spirit of adventure a broad fantasy action game requires. And just as Tintin’s simple design served as a reader's entry point into Hergé's stories, Link acts as the player's eyes and ears in Hyrule, a filter through which audiences can experience the colourful characters, action and perils the world constantly introduces." He further commented that Link is one of the most enduring video game characters because he is "a sympathetic hero" and "the ultimate videogame underdog. He really is an ordinary yet brave little guy who wants to save the world, in spite of insurmountable odds."
Sara Gitkos for iMore questioned Link's role as the series protagonist, despite Zelda being the titular character. She commented that since the start of the series, "Zelda served as the prize at the end of Link's long traveled tunnel" and played the role of the damsel in distress, although in recent games, she has "acted more as a partner to Link rather than an object to save". However, she also noted that it would be difficult to change this because, "Though players take control of Link and he "acts" as the protagonist, the silent hero is really just the vessel for players to control. He doesn't have any character to speak of, but rather is the place holder for us, and we become him."
In , video game websites GameSpot and Kotaku consulted Eiji Aonuma regarding the possibility of producing a Zelda game led by a female version of Link. Aonuma responded by stating, "We thought about it and decided that if we're going to have a female protagonist, it's simpler to have Princess Zelda as the main character." However, this idea was abandoned because "if we have Princess Zelda as the main character who fights, then what is Link going to do?" Jacob Krastenakes writing for The Verge opined, "Switching the two characters wouldn't even require Link to be completely absent — he could simply be the other character, who is off doing their own thing." Aonuma also referred to the balance of the Triforce as a reason for not creating a female Link, stating, "The Triforce is made up of Princess Zelda, Ganon, and Link. Princess Zelda is obviously female. If we made Link a female we thought that would mess with the balance of the Triforce. That’s why we decided not to do it."
Jonathan Homes writing for Destructoid commented on the ambiguity of Link's character, asking, "Is Link an individual, or is he (or she) a blank slate avatar meant to represent the player?". He continued by stating, "Nintendo has done an admirable job of concocting a way to help fans to imagine Link as both a specific person and an abstract concept at the same time. He’s actually not always named Link. You, the player, choose his name before starting each of his games. He also never speaks, further solidifying him as non-character who's only purpose is to act as doorway for the player into the game world. Yet, by leaning hard on both the reincarnation myth and the use of multiple timelines, Nintendo has managed to shape Link into a series of individual characters in the minds of many."
As the mascot of The Legend of Zelda series, Link has become a widely recognisable character in pop culture. Due to his popularity with gamers, his signature green outfit combined with the Master Sword and Hylian Shield is a popular choice with fans for cosplay. His image has been recreated in numerous works of fan art. He has also appeared in the form of various merchandise, including figurines, Amiibo, plush toys, and apparel. In , the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition recognised Link as the second best video game character of all time, behind Mario. In , he was awarded a star on the Walk of Game along with his creator, Shigeru Miyamoto. In , Empire ranked Link as the sixth greatest comic book character, stating "Shigeru Miyamoto's most famous creation aside from a certain moustachioed plumber, Link has grown into one of the world's most celebrated console heroes, and helped establish RPGs as an international gaming standard." In , Time named Link as 11th on its "Most Influential Video Game Characters of All Time", stating, "The protagonist of each The Legend of Zelda series installment, Link embodies the selfless hero on a transformative journey, a storytelling trope we've seen in countless titles from Mass Effect's Commander Shepard to Halo's Master Chief." In , James McMahon for The Independent listed Link in fourth place in the "Top 20 most iconic video game characters of all time", commenting, "You star in over 19 instalments of what's largely considered the greatest RPG series of all time. In your own animated TV series. Your own manga. Your own board game (three of those actually). Not only that, but one of your last rides out – 's Breath of the Wild – is frequently discussed in the conversation entitled, "What's the Greatest Video Game Ever?" And after all this? You're not only not Nintendo's most famous character – you don’t even get your name in the title of the franchise you've helmed since ! The Legend of Link perhaps doesn’t have the same ring to it, but it's the little green one who runs this manor, not Zelda."
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So everything will be cultural. The girls in our neighborhood were not scared. They, athletes, are generally not complex people. We splashed into the steam room.
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Hi, I said cheerfully, after the street I breathed positive. She replied hi. We sat down to talk about all sorts of nonsense. I bought a whiskey cola in between.NORMAN - ZELDA
The bathroom door flew open, you stood with an open bottle of cognac in your hand. I slipped by cautiously. Rather, she tried, but slipped with a wet foot and fell. Darkness covered me. I opened my eyes, the back of my head ached slightly, but something cold and damp lay on it, calming the.
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And so it happened. Looking into my eyes, she, without any questions, resolutely unbuttoned her blouse. At the sight of the snow-white hills, her seductive breasts elastically protruding from the lace bra, my eyes darkened.